Actor Olivia Colman and comedian-campaigner Griff Rhys Jones are among those from the Anglia region named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Olivia Colman, who was born in Norwich, said she was “totally thrilled” and “humbled” to be made a CBE for services to drama.
The Oscar-winner first found fame as Sophie, the girlfriend of David Mitchell’s neurotic Mark, in the British comedy Peep Show.
She said in a statement: “I’m totally thrilled, delighted and humbled to be in the company of these incredible people, most of whom have been nowhere near as visible as I have, but should be – and hopefully now will be. It’s such an honour.”
Her most anticipated role is yet to come, when she steps into the shoes of Queen Elizabeth II in the third series of The Crown as the lavish Netflix drama moves into the 1970s.
She will take over the part from Claire Foy and has said how difficult she has found it.
Born in Norwich in 1974, she studied at Cambridge and at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
She has been married to the actor and writer Ed Sinclair since 2001 and the couple have three children.
And now, thanks to a new book, we don’t have to imagine it anymore.
The trio, plus a host of other stars including Caitlin Moran, Sue Perkinsand Deborah Frances-White, are all contributing essays to Last Christmas: Memories of Christmases past – and hopes for future ones, a collection edited by Thompson and Greg Wise.
The book will tie in with the film Last Christmas, which has been inspired by Wham’s Christmas anthem of the same name, and is a love story combined with a message of tolerance and acceptance.
In the film, Kate (Clarke) takes on a job as an elf in a year-round Christmas Shop in London, one of a series of bad decisions in her life. However, when she meets Tom (Henry Golding), things start to change. The film is directed by Paul Feig, and the story was written by Thompson and Wise, with Thompson and artist Bryony Kimmings collaborating on the screenplay. The film will feature previously unreleased music by George Michael, who collaborated on the concept for the film before his death.
Essays in the book will see actors, politicians, singers, charity workers, refugees and homeless people writing about what Christmas means to them, what past Christmases have been like, what they’d change, and what they feel Christmas should be, away from the consumerism, the John Lewis advert, and the Instagram posts.
Also contributing an essay are Andy Serkis, Bill Bailey, Kimmings, Emily Watson, Fergal Keane, Lyse Doucet, Feig, Phyllida Law, Richard Ayoade, Sophie Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Twiggy.
In one of the essays a Syrian refugee writes about his experiences and learning the customs of Christmases in a refugee camp and then in England living with an English couple. Ayoade’s essay is described by publisher Quercus as a “funny and poignant” piece about Christmas when he was a child.
Thompson and Wise will also write an essay each as well as the introduction to the book. They said: “We are witnessing a rise in homelessness in our country, as well as in the demonisation of migrants and refugees.
“There is a suspicion and fear of ‘The Other’ creeping into our nation’s dialogue, which has become front-and-centre during Brexit.
“Our hope is that the movie will strike a chord with everyone who watches it, and that the book will remind people of the importance of values such as kindness and generosity.”
The book will be published on 31 October, with the film released on 15 November.
If you’re unfamiliar with the long-running British comedy Peep Show, I’m sorry to say that you are living very wrongly. The show ran for an astounding nine seasons and launched the career of Oscar-winner Olivia Colman. Starz, Fox, and Spike have all attempted to re-create the magical inner-monologues of Mark and Jez for American audiences to no avail. But now, according to an essay in The Guardian by Sam Bain (one of the show’s original creators) we may finally be getting an American version. It won’t just be a straight remake, though. Bain’s essay was on the importance of diversity in comedy, and he’s announced that the American version will feature female losers in the lead roles instead of male ones “What would Peep Show have been like with women as the two leads?” he wrote. “It’s a great question – and it’s one I’ll shortly have the answer to, because there is a script in development for a US Peep Show with two female leads. It’s at FX Networks and it will be written by top comedy brain Karey Dornetto (Portlandia, Community).” This is so exciting, we might have to order four naan to celebrate.
Olivia Colman is “thrilled” that there are now more roles for actresses in their forties, and believes audience power is behind the change.
The star, 45, won an Oscar in February for playing Queen Anne in The Favourite, and many of her most acclaimed roles — including in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, BBC’s The Night Manager and ITV’s Broadchurch — have come later in her career.
Colman said she was “grateful” that she has had to work for her success, saying: “It’s been a long, slow road, but I feel very blessed.
“I’ve always worked — apart from the first couple of years, but I’m also grateful for that because it teaches you to push.”
She added: “There are more roles now for women in their forties, and the roles get more interesting because they lean on that experience. It used to be over once you’re passed the ingenue thing, but those voices are being heard now.
“People go, ‘I want to see myself depicted [on screen], because I’m the one in charge of the remote control and I’m paying the bills.’
“Love doesn’t just belong to people in their twenties. I’m thrilled those parts have come around for me.”
Colman also revealed that she often does not conduct in-depth research when preparing for a part. She said: “Otherwise, I think, you’re throwing too much in. The work has been done for you if it’s a good writer. I think, ‘What could I possibly find out that the script hasn’t already told me?’ ”
Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman will star in the film adaptation of Florian Zeller’s award-winning play The Father, it is being reported.
The tragi-comic piece is about a man experiencing dementia, and is part of Zeller’s trilogy of plays about family (alongside The Mother and The Son). Hopkins will play the titular father, Andre, while Colman will play his daughter Anne.
The film version is expected to start shooting in the UK later this year, with Zeller himself on board to direct the piece (in what will be his directorial debut) with Christopher Hampton adapting the screenplay.
First running in France in 2012, the English adaptation of Zeller’s play first premiered at the Ustinov Studio in 2014, with the role of the father played by Kenneth Cranham. The show went on to transfer to the West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award and Cranham won the award for Best Actor in a Play.
It later had its American premiere in 2016, where it was nominated for Best New Play and star Frank Langella won the Tony Award for Best Actor.
A release date for the film version of The Father is to be confirmed.
Royal duties took a back seat as Olivia Colman made a welcome appearance at a fundraising event in London‘s Knightsbridge on Monday evening.
The Oscar winning actress will return to TV as Queen Elizabeth II when the forthcoming third season of historical drama The Crown airs on Netflix.
But filming commitments on behalf of the hugely popular show, which charts the Queen’s rise to power as head of the British monarchy, were put to one side while Olivia, 45, paid a visit to renowned auction house Bonhams.
The star was making an appearance at the Art for Eve reception as the charity kicks off the third year of its arts fundraising programme, which has so far raised more than £400,000.
Posing for photos as she made her way inside, Olivia looked typically elegant in a tasteful white evening dress and black leather boots.
The actress added to her understated look with a stylish camel coat, while a distinctive black lather handbag proved to be her only visible accessory.
Other stars attending the event included comedienne Jo Brand, fashion entrepreneur Noelle Reno and reality star Megan Barton-Hanson, who will soon strip off for The All New Monty 2019: Who Bares Wins on behalf of cancer awareness.
The Eve Appeal is currently the only UK charity raising funds for research into all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal.
Monday’s reception will be be followed by an auction on May 2, during which guests can bid on 13 lots including artworks by the likes of Grayson Perry, Bambi, Julian Opie and Patrick Hughes.
Olivia is currently hard at work on the new series of The Crown, which covers the period from 1964-1970 when the Queen’s son Charles was between the ages of 16 and 22.
She will join Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Phillip, and Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret, with the cast reenacting pivotal royal moments from the past 50 years.
These include Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) flirting at a polo match in 1975, and the future king’s investiture ceremony in 1969.
When the Netflix programme returns, it will see a whole new cast take on the roles of Queen Elizabeth II, her family and those around her.
The third and fourth series, which are reportedly being filmed back-to-back, will cover the years 1964 to 1976.
But when will The Crown viewers finally be able to watch the third series?
It may be disappointing news for some fans as it appears as though series three is not yet completed.
Netflix has confirmed to Gold Derby that The Crown will not be competing in the 2019 Emmy Awards as it not submitted its third series for consideration.
With the Emmy entry deadline set at May 31, it looks as though the episodes for the third series will not be completed in time.
The first series was released in November 2016, while the second launched on Netflix in December 2017 so it could point toward a winter release if the third series follows suit.
The programme has previously been nominated at the awards, receiving five nominations at the Primetime Emmys in 2017 and six in 2018.
John Lithgow won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series gong for his role as Winston Churchill in episode Assassins in 2017 while lead Claire Foy picked up the prize for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2018 for her work in Dear Mrs. Kennedy.
Meanwhile, the 2018 ceremony also saw Stephen Daldry win the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series award in 2018 for the episode Paterfamilias.
Olivia Colman is taking over the role left vacant by Claire Foy following her Best Actress Oscar win for playing another royal, Queen Anne in The Favourite.
Meanwhile, her husband Prince Philip will now be portrayed by Game of Thrones star Tobias Menzies.
Helen Bonham Carter, who is no stranger to playing royal roles, will take on the part of the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret.
While Prince Charles appeared a child in series one and two he will be moving into adulthood in the new season, this time played by Josh O’Connor.
Fans will also see Camilla Parker Bowles enter his life in the form of actress Emerald Fennell.
Producer Suzanne Mackie confirmed in 2017 at the Radio Times & BFI TV Festival that viewers will meet a young Camilla.
“Peter [Morgan, the show’s creator] is already talking about the most wonderful things. We start meeting Camilla Parker Bowles in season three,” the executive explained.
She added: “We have to be honest, season three and four are being mapped out and the closer the history comes – I now can say, ‘God, I know exactly what I was feeling when that happened, I remember that and I remember this.’ That’s so exciting.
“But there’s a responsibility to it that you ought to do it properly and there’s where the weight comes, not from seven years but we’ve got to keep being great.”
The Crown is expected to return to Netflix later this year.
The Oscar-winning actress has taken over the royal mantle from Claire Foy for the Netflix hit’s third and fourth season, and admitted that the show’s voice coaches provide indispensable assistance when she goes “off in the wrong direction.”
“Playing the Queen is not all me. You have an awful lot of assistance,” she told Metro.
“There is an amazing voice department who are always there and who whisper vowel sounds and things because I keep going off.
“Weirdly I feel like her voice is quite close to Cockney, which is quite hard to explain, and I can feel myself going off in the wrong direction.”
The 45-year-old went on to reveal that her “amazing movement coach Polly” has helped her out with the intricacies of royal protocol, giving her “little tricks to remember how you are meant to stand.”
She explained that she has been watching “lots” of old videos of the Queen in order to prepare for the role, telling the paper that “the research department search for all the footage there has been and send it you.”
Colman will be joined by a new cast of on-screen royals as the show’s action moves into the 60s and 70s, with Helena Bonham Carter set to play the Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret and Tobias Menzies taking over from Matt Smith as Prince Philip.
Olivia Colman is in talks to play a chain-smoking kleptomaniac in new film Gypsy Boy.
Colman, 54, who won an Oscar for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, may play shoplifter Aunt Minnie in an adaptation of Mikey Walsh’s bestselling memoir.
Film producer Kevin Loader said: “There definitely have been conversations and we would be absolutely thrilled if Olivia was available.”
The book follows Mikey’s life in a Romany community and his struggles with his abusive, bare-knuckle boxer father, who cannot accept that his son is gay.
Filming is due to start in autumn, but there are scheduling conflicts with the fourth season of The Crown, in which Colman is to play the Queen.
In February the Mirror reported how Olivia Colman melted hearts when she gave an adorable Oscars speech after she bagged the award for Best Actress for her role in The Favourite.
But amid all the hilarity of sticking her tongue out at the Academy when they tried to hurry her up and describing her win as “hilarious” there was a very inspirational message at the heart of Olivia’s speech.
The 45-year-old revealed how she never gave up hope, even when she had to work as a cleaner to make ends meet.
Olivia told the Oscars audience: “Any little girl who’s practising her speech on the telly, you never know!
“I used to work as a cleaner, I loved that job but I did spend quite a lot of time imagining this.”